Broken Bones, Sprains, and Strains

Broken Bones, Sprains, and Strains

A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Your child might have a broken (fractured) bone if he or she heard or felt a bone snap, has difficulty moving the injured part, or if the injured part moves in an unnatural way or is very painful to the touch.

A sprain occurs when the ligaments, which hold bones together, are overstretched and partially torn. A strain is when a muscle or tendon is overstretched or torn. Sprains and strains generally cause swelling and pain, and there may be bruises around the injured area. Most sprains and strains, after proper medical evaluation, can be treated at home.

What to Do:

For a Suspected Broken Bone:
For a Suspected Sprain or Strain:

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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Related Resources
OrganizationNational Safety Council The National Safety Council offers information on first aid, CPR, environmental health, and safety.
OrganizationAmerican Red Cross The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and works to keep people safe every day. The website has information on first aid, safety, and more.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) The AAOS provides information for the public on sports safety, and bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries or conditions.
OrganizationAmerican College of Sports Medicine This site has tips on staying safe while playing sports and exercising.
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